Note: I’m reposting the profiles I wrote on each of the Boise State football coaches with some additional reporting that didn’t make the stories. The last one will appear on game day.
Tight ends coach
Hometown: Alma, Ark.
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Playing career: He played linebacker at Alma High but did not play in college. He tried to walk on at Arkansas Tech but did not pass the physical because of a shoulder injury.
Coaching career: Seventh-grade coach in Alma (2005), Springdale (Ark.) High offensive line coach and run game coordinator (2006), Springdale offensive coordinator (2007-09), Auburn offensive quality control assistant (2010), Auburn offensive graduate assistant (2011), Arkansas State running backs and special teams coach (2012), Arkansas State running backs coach and co-offensive coordinator (2013)
Education: Bachelor’s degree in history education from Arkansas Tech (2004)
Family: Wife, Lindsey; daughters, Addison (4) and Emerson (1)
Did you know? As a high school coaching intern in 2004, Drinkwitz received a sideline pass for the Boise State-Tulsa game in Oklahoma. Five of Boise State’s full-time coaches were on the field that day, including head coach Bryan Harsin (was the tight ends coach) and offensive coordinator Mike Sanford (backup quarterback, and holder on the game-winning field goal).
Quotable: “He’s like a little ball of energy.” — Boise State offensive line coach Scott Huff
— Drinkwitz’s dad played small-college football in Iowa. He has two brothers and three sisters and both brothers played football, too.
— Drinkwitz: “I love the camaraderie of the locker room. I enjoyed just understanding the reason why I was a good high school player was because I understood tendencies. I always liked that part of the game.”
— Drinkwitz: “Having a strong relationship with your players is something I’ve always valued and something that’s very important. You want to make sure these guys aren’t just football players. They have lives outside of here. They’re somebody’s son. You don’t want to be oblivious to that. You want to understand they’re facing the world for the first time and it’s not easy out there. Being relationship-driven is one of the things I enjoy the most about coaching football. One of the things Gus (Malzahn) used to always say is, ‘Use your influence in a positive way and God will reward you.’ We’ve got a tremendous amount of influence coaching this sport.”
— Drinkwitz on Bryan Harsin vs. Gus Malzahn as offensive coaches: “They have a lot of similarities. They’re both very good at how they identify defenses and how they’re going to attack defenses. Bryan has a great understanding of how he’s going to get to certain things. How to attack a defense through personnel and shifting and motions. Bryan is very detail-oriented. It was really good seeing the pass game that he brought (to Arkansas State). He brought some ideas that were new to me that were easy to learn.”
— Drinkwitz, on his free time: “I hang out with my daughters, go to the park. We’ve been going to the river a lot. I say this in a joking way — I’m a bad enough dad because I don’t spend enough time at home because of the job I have. I feel like it would be too selfish to go play a round of golf. That was one influence coach Harsin really brought on us — making sure when you’re not here, you’re with your family.”
— Malzahn on Drinkwitz’s role at Auburn: “He was responsible for all the signals and everything that went with that communication. He had a lot of pressure on him. He did a real good job.”
— Malzahn on Drinkwitz’s jump from high school coaching: “There are a lot of really good high school coaches — they just haven’t had the opportunity. Eli jumped at the chance and he’s off to a great start.”
Tomorrow: Junior Adams
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